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Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups have a team of pharmacists, who work to help us get the best out of medicines for our population

Medicines Optimisation is about helping patients and health professionals to make the right treatment choices and use them correctly. We use an evidence based approach to choosing prescription products which balances the safety, tolerability, value and simplicity.


When decisions are made the discussions involve a variety of people including GPs, consultants, pharmacists and patients. Sometimes the decisions can be difficult and we have to make recommendations that involve changes to treatments or restricting their use of particular medications but the overall aim is to get the best improvement in health for the most people with the resources that are available.

The list below gives you some examples of things that come under Medicines Optimisation:

  1. Giving health professionals unbiased information on new and existing medicines
  2. Supporting health professionals and patients to get the best from medicines
  3. Helping avoid harms or side-effects caused by medicines
  4. Developing guidelines to ensure conditions are managed as well as they can be
  5. Making sure patients with specific characteristics that interact with medicines get a treatment that is tailored to them as an individual
  6. Communicating with hospitals.

Overall, our aim is to improve the health of the local population by promoting safe, effective and efficient use of medicines.

You can contact the Medicines Optimisation Team on 0118 982 2766 or by emailing: .

We have a list of medications that are recommended for prescribing locally that is jointly agreed with the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. This list is called a "formulary". Its content is agreed at the Berkshire West Area Prescribing Committee. The committee meets bi-monthly and relevant specialists and GPs are always involved in the decisions.

To access the Joint Formulary for the Berkshire West CCGs go to: http://westberks.formulary.co.uk/default.asp

The formulary also contains links to the latest local prescribing guidelines, NICE guidelines and NICE appraisals.

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